About Mindfulness

Mindfulness is achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, not dwelling on past events or dreaming of the future, but being in the ‘now’. It has been proven to decrease levels of anxiety, social conflict & attention disorder among children. It can help both adults and children become more responsive & less reactive, more focused & less distracted, more calm & less stressed creating a more positive human being. It is an easy concept, but quite difficult to master and requires lots of practice through formal and informal meditations.

About Julieanne Reel

Julieanne has 20 years experience working with children of all ages in school settings and out-of-school settings. Julieanne is a trained Montessori teacher and ran her own pre-school and after-school for many years. She is a qualified childcare tutor, and a trained Paws.b Mindfulness Teacher. Julieanne trained in Paws.b with the Mindfulness in Schools Project in The Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, Bangor University, Wales and participated in the first ever Paws.b Teacher training course. She travels around Ireland teaching the Paws.b mindfulness programme in schools, out-of-school services, youth clubs, sports clubs, camps etc as well as also providing private sessions.


The growing interest in mindfulness is an indication that there is a need to slow down, create space and reduce stress. Perhaps the fact that this resonates with many teachers, parents, health care professionals, youth workers and students is also an indication that we are beginning to revisit our understanding of what really matters in learning in the 21st Century - wellbeing, resilience and self-awareness are increasingly recognised as being as important as academic success." — The Mindfulness in Schools Project.

What I Teach

I teach the 12 Week Paws.b Mindfulness Programme to children aged 7 to 12 years old. I travel to Primary Schools all over Ireland, as well as youth groups and private one-to-one sessions. The programme runs during school hours formally as a series of SPHE lessons based on six themes, teaching one classroom at a time. Children learn valuable life skills to help them to cope effectively with life’s ups and downs.

Read what Enable Ireland said about Julieanne and the programme she put together for the children:


"The children allocated to the group have all been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. These children are mostly surviving in schools with little or no extra supports or resources. This leads to high stress levels and anxiety in our children which can be hard to manage due to frequent outbursts and meltdowns. It has been extremely difficult to find a way for our children to manage their levels of stress independently. Julieanne has brought a whole new dimension to these children’s self-awareness and emotions. Her child friendly programme has allowed the children to explore themselves and their emotions each week. It has encouraged them to stop, take a minute and calm themselves down without the help of others. This is a significant step for some of these children which we have been working on for years! Julieanne has not only been patient and understanding to these children but also very passionate about her work and it has been fantastic working with her."
— Aisling Smith, Speech & Language Therapist, Enable Ireland.

Contact Info

00353-876209212
24A Mc Shanes Road, Cullyhanna, Co. Down, BT35 0NB, Northern Ireland
[email protected]
Mindful Kids Ireland
Mindful Kids Ireland

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make an enquiry or book sessions?
Go to the Contact Me section and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Is there any government funding available for my school/group to partake in your course?
Google what is currently available as funding is released from time to time. Also contact your Parent's Association, local Mental Health Association, or organise fundraising events.
Do you offer one-off taster sessions?
It takes time to establish Mindfulness practice in the brain so therefore I do not offer taster sessions. I do however offer one hour introductory talks on Mindfulness and the Paws.b Programme to teachers, staff and parent groups. These talks explain in more detail what Mindfulness is all about and gives the audience a chance to experience a short practice.
Can you come to my school to train the teachers?
I trained to teach a specific programme to children. However, when I teach in schools, I ask the class teacher and support staff to participate in each of my sessions. They will gain theoretic knowledge, the correct attitude to attain a mindful classroom and begin to build up their own individual mindfulness practice. Neuro-science says it takes at least 8 weeks of practice to establish mindfulness in the brain. But to make changes permanent the process is often referred to as “use it or lose it”. If you don’t keep firing the neurons repeatedly, the changes do not last long. On completion of the Paws.b Programme, the class teacher will be confident in continuing the practice with the children but will not gain any teacher training qualifications.

What is Paws.b?

Paws.b is a twelve session mindfulness course for primary schools, based on six themes, and ideally taught to 7 to 11 year olds. It is adapted from the .b mindfulness curriculum for secondary schools, as well as influenced by adult mindfulness courses such as MBSR & MBCT. It is currently being evaluated by the University of Bangor in the UK.

What makes Paws.b distinctive?

Paws.b was carefully crafted by classroom teachers and mindfulness experts to engage young children. It is taught with striking visuals, film clips and activities that bring mindfulness to life without losing the expertise and integrity of classic mindfulness teaching.

What are Paws.b's objectives?

Paws.b aims to give students mindfulness as a life-skill. Students use it...

The Paws.b Curriculum

The curriculum consists of 12 sessions based on 6 themes:

"I was very worried about going to the dentist, so I practiced some 'Finger Breathing' and then I felt okay."
"I had to take a free kick and I was nervous, so I just took 3 deep breaths and I scored and we won the match"
"I love Mindfulness because it helps you to feel calm and to not worry so much"

Evidence

On completion of the Paws.b Mindfulness Programme with myself, I ask the participating children and teachers to fill out evaluation forms. This allows me to collect and analyse information about the programme's activities, characteristics, and outcomes. This is the combined results to-date.

Children's Evaluations

Has helped me Helps to calm me down when upset Helps me to avoid arguments Helps me to fall asleep at night Helps me to make better choices Helps me to focus better Helps me to be more happy

Teacher Evaluations

Overall score for the Paws.b Mindfulness Programme Overall score for the facilitator, Julieanne How many would book the programme again

Changes that teachers noted in the children

Relating better towards one another In their concentration In their ability to settle themselves

There is also some great published research papers about the effects of Mindfulness training. Click here to read an article by Charlotte E. Vickery from the School of Psychology, Bangor University, Bangor, UK and Dusana Dorjee from the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, School of Psychology, Bangor University, Bangor, UK.

Clients

Mindful Kids Ireland began in September 2014 and has since worked in 44 schools:

Monaghan Mental Health Association, Monaghan, Co. Monaghan began sponsoring Mindful Kids Ireland into schools in North Monaghan in Novemeber 2015 and continues to do so.

The Gemma McHale Foundation, Castlederg, Co. Tyrone began sponsoring Mindful Kids Ireland into schools in Castlederg in September 2016 and continues to do so.

Enable Ireland, Rooskey, Co. Monaghan welcomed Mindful Kids Ireland into their Monaghan premises to work with a group of 10 five and six year olds over the summer of 2017.


"The children allocated to the group have all been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. These children are mostly surviving in schools with little or no extra supports or resources. This leads to high stress levels and anxiety in our children which can be hard to manage due to frequent outbursts and meltdowns. It has been extremely difficult to find a way for our children to manage their levels of stress independently. Julieanne has brought a whole new dimension to these children’s self-awareness and emotions. Her child friendly programme has allowed the children to explore themselves and their emotions each week. It has encouraged them to stop, take a minute and calm themselves down without the help of others. This is a significant step for some of these children which we have been working on for years! Julieanne has not only been patient and understanding to these children but also very passionate about her work and it has been fantastic working with her."
— Aisling Smith, Speech & Language Therapist, Enable Ireland.